The 2024 Australian OpenShoe Report

The 2024 Australian Open Shoe Report

The tennis shoe game takes on the Australian summer with special editions and new arrivals.

The tennis shoe game takes on the Australian summer with special editions and new arrivals.

By Tim NewcombJanuary 18, 2024

For me, a fresh season of tennis majors means a fresh approach to tennis sneakers. As players don their latest kits, many also have a new sneaker colorway—or model—that made the long trip to the southern hemisphere. Of course, some of the silhouettes worth viewing were either short-lived or never even saw Melbourne’s summer sun, but other designs, from New Balance, Asics, and Nike, may last well into the second week. Let’s explore some of the best sneaker snippets from Australia.



New Balance Coco CG1 ‘Primary Power’

Image courtesy of New Balance

The only signature* shoe in the sport for a current athlete, New Balance has dominated the tennis sneaker game for over a year with Coco Gauff’s CG1 signature. Since unveiling the model in summer 2022, we’ve seen roughly a dozen colorways launch, including the “City Brights” edition Gauff wore to victory at the 2023 US Open.

The first 2024 colorway comes for the Australian Open as New Balance and Gauff show off Primary Power. Cordell Jordan, New Balance footwear designer, told me the team wanted to be bold and impactful, using a modern yet nostalgic tone. That means the ’90s-inspired model features the sea salt color mixed with other blues, red, yellow, and white to give the first design of the year a novel start to 2024 as we eagerly anticipate continued CG1 colorways. 

The Primary Power colorway, available to the masses, matches well with Gauff’s apparel, featuring a predominantly yellow or blue kit, depending on her choice for the match. That gives New Balance a seamless design from head to toe on the brand’s star tennis athlete and the leader in the sport’s sneaker game. 

*A signature sneaker is defined as a model designed in collaboration with an athlete for the specific needs of that athlete and is not an inline model that is given special “player edition” colorways or designs tied to an athlete.



Asics Court FF 3 ‘Novak’

Image courtesy of Corinne Dubreuil/Asics

Tossing a number on the side of a tennis sneaker has never been quite as impressive as what Asics is now doing for Novak Djokovic. Sure, we’ve seen high figures representing the number of major titles adorn the shoes worn by Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer, but for the 2024 Australian Open, the blue-and-white Asics Court FF 3 Novak added a “24.” That’s big. 

Already we’ve seen Asics join the fray on honoring Djokovic’s major titles by placing a “23” on his shoes for Wimbledon last summer. The Japanese brand repeated the effort during the 2023 US Open. But the victory in New York City has Asics dusting off a “24” for the mostly blue model in Australia. 

Djokovic signed to Asics in 2018 and wore the latest Gel-Resolution model at the time. He later switched to the Court FF model and helped market the launch of the third iteration of the shoe that was released in January 2023. While we saw a largely blue model during the US Open, we’ve got even more blue on the Australian Open version, allowing the player-edition 24 colorway to stand out even more.


Nike GP Challenge 1 ‘Osaka’

Image courtesy of Nike

While Naomi Osaka’s player-edition model may have had only an 86-minute appearance during the first round of the Australian Open, the colorway of the new Nike GP Challenge 1 sneaker lives on via retail sites the world over. 

Nike spent much of 2023 breaking out Osaka-themed versions of the Air Zoom GP Turbo, including designs full of snack-inspired creations, even though Osaka wasn’t playing on the tour. The latest tennis model from the Oregon-based sportswear giant is the brand-new GP Challenge 1, a shoe worn by both Osaka and Frances Tiafoe. While we have inline colorway options to choose from, Osaka unveiled her special edition during her first major tournament appearance since giving birth, offering up a design that mimicked Osaka’s one-off dress for the match. 

The shoe’s base black-and-white motif is accented with purple and green, all part of the new design of the GP Challenge 1, a shoe that features Air Zoom units in both the forefoot and heel. With the inline colorways more heavily focused on white and black, fans of the new model who want to add color to the mix have the Osaka colorway to appreciate.


Asics x Boss x Matteo Berrettini Gel-Resolution 9

Image courtesy of Boss x Asics

Okay, we know, Matteo Berrettini pulled out of the Australian Open just hours before he was scheduled to make a return to the court. So, while his shoes never actually hit the Plexicushion acrylic surface in Australia, they were already unveiled, undoubtedly waiting in the wings somewhere in Melbourne, and getting us excited over the sport’s only fashion collaboration on a performance model. 

Using the Asics Gel-Resolution 9 as the muse, Asics worked with Berrettini and his clothing sponsor, Boss, to craft another Asics x Boss x Matteo Berrettini on-court design. The trio already pulled off the feat in 2023, but the look for the Australian Open was the cleanest yet, using white as the base, a gum sole look for the outsole, and black and brown accents for the logo marks. The sneaker design was set to pair with the Boss apparel kit. 

Not only do we appreciate the design—this one is also available for the public to purchase—but the fact that Boss and Asics are working together is another welcome sight in the sport. This gives Berrettini’s kits a unified look that is so often not achieved when a player wears footwear from a different sponsor than their apparel maker. It also offers up a rare look at a performance brand collaborating with a fashion brand for a sneaker we can see—and appreciate—on the court. 


—Carlos Alcaraz is turning heads with his custom Nike sneakers. While not uncommon for top Nike athletes to get the custom treatment, all guesses have the Alcaraz shoes a mash-up between Vapor Pros and Vapor 11s, a unique blend as Nike athletes now routinely dip into old silhouettes for their on-court needs.

—Aryna Sabalenka, who now wears Nike dresses outside the typical tournament range, sports her Air Zoom NXT shoes in custom colorways to match. 

—Daniil Medvedev is still sporting a version of the Lacoste AG-LT23 Ultra sneakers with his logo. 

—Iga Swiatek switched to On apparel in 2023, but didn’t wear her version of On’s The Roger Pro shoe until after the US Open, making the Australian Open the first major she’s gone head-to-toe On. 

—Leylah Fernandez may have one of the most unique tennis sneaker tales of the past few months, still opting for Puma Stewie 2 women’s basketball shoes (the signature sneaker for Breanna Stewart), which she switched to on her own with no deal during the 2023 US Open doubles tournament.

Follow Tim Newcomb’s tennis gear coverage on Instagram at Felt Alley Tennis.